Posts Tagged With: drought


DSC07843 (Copy)Spring is trying to spring, but the weather turns from warm with spots of sunshine to cold to windy to rainy to stormy to gale force downpours,  all within a short time. The last two days were wet and miserable. I feel guilty when I complain.

DSC07858 (Copy)Whenever something blooms, I take a picture before the rain washes it away. Forsythia is one of three plants I have that bloom on the branches before it leafs out.

DSC07859 (Copy)That is, excluding the fruit trees, like this wild Indian peach.

DSC07850 (Copy)Dancing between the drops, I caught Karen, the Pied Piper with the chickens. They adore her and vice versa. They love getting out and wallowing in the green, grass. I love the green, too.

DSC07847 (Copy)Paul was back in the hospital. Now he is in a convalescent home. Living is sometimes an uphill battle.

DSC07851 (Copy)Pam, Wanda, John and I with our CCTV manager, Ed Lark had an important board meeting over the studio. Hopefully we’ll get it transferred to new owners by the end of the year, freeing us to do things we like better. None of us produce television shows anymore. We are just cogs in the management wheel.

DSC07852 (Copy)These last two years, we’ve taken to having dinner meetings. It makes things pleasantly social. John told us a great history about Hazel Fischer, a teacher who taught “everybody” in the old days, in a one room school-house. There are many stories about her quirky personality-some he claims are untrue. John is an “old-timer” to this area and he knew Miss Fischer.

DSC07857 (Copy)I read in my local paper that the state is subsidizing low flush toilets. They’ll reimburse you $100 for each toilet. So, I managed to put one in for me and one for my rental. I had already put in a low flush several years ago, but the new ones are better. It boggles the brain that they work. The engineering is so smart. I also have on demand water heaters in both houses. But the gas one needed a new computer board, which the company mailed to me free by Fed Ex. In all this cold, it was nice to have hot water again. The rain kept me inside long enough to read two days worth of newspapers and put a dent in my taxes. No, I can’t complain about the rain.

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The way Jim and I have traveled in the past, I’m rarely home for daffodils or my spring flowers. The special varieties like these, bloom later than the old standard golden yellows.

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I waited so long to take a picture of this variety, it is almost eaten up by bugs.

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The goldens are now gone but I did manage to catch a couple.

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A golden hybrid with an orange colored center.

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Also gone are the forsythia blooms, that come out on bare wood. The green leaves have replaced the flowers.

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The grape hyacinths are lost now in tall grasses.

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Pink cherry and wild Indian peach blossoms also bloom on bare wood.

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They’ve been replaced by pink apple blossoms that bloom after leaf out.

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For weeks, now, the air is fragrant with lilacs. They are just beginning to fade, but when warmed by the sun, they still send up that marvelous fragrance.

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I took these photos over a period of time and have really enjoyed my yard. Yesterday I pulled weeds for an hour and found out how out of practice I am. The muscles said, “we don’t do this any more.”  I used to spend hours pulling foxtails and needle grass, and other undesirables.

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This rhododendron is woody and barely blooms because it belongs in a rainforest and here it gets no water except rain, a decision made two years ago. It is still hanging on.

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Bulbs don’t mind the drought.

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Red Valerian is hardy in a barrel.

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My plan for the drought is to replace everything that dies with lavender,  rosemary and sages.  They are hardy and require little water. Lavender attracts bees as well and they were busy on this plant. What’s not to like?

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My housemate loves petunias and she somehow gets two years out of them.

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It makes sense to have flowers in containers that don’t require so much water to keep them alive.

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Well established plants close to the house will get minimum water. It is a big investment in landscaping, but my choices were not good for a long drought. I’m working on getting my well up and running. Hopefully it still has water. I’m looking into a rainwater catchment system, too. I just read the bad news about melting ice shelfs and the Solomon Islands that are barely above the water and losing ground rapidly to sea levels.we have  rough years ahead.

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We have to make do with less. I noticed that figs survive on rain. My orchard now has four trees instead of twelve. The almonds and stone fruits are long  gone.  If I get the well up an running, I’ll try for figs and hazelnuts as orchard food crops. Maybe strawberries in a mini green house along with my chicken eggs. My survivalist mentality.

I am enjoying my yard and my new browser, a relative of Mozilla Firefox that was so contaminated i was afraid to download it a third time. It is called SeaMonkey. I feel like my computer is a friend, again.


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The rains have been welcoming if disconcerting with multiple lightning strikes, gloom, and water cascading down my driveway. The news is, despite this pleasant drink of water, the drought will continue. oroville

The reservoirs are no longer holding enough water. I have a well and expect to get it up and running to bastion my property against the drought. It hasn’t been operated in over ten years. The aquifer may be empty and not suitable.  Time will tell.

New tires will be rolling me to Oregon at the end of this week for some needed input into the house building job. The tires will be installed this morning.

FLASH- The Mystery Santa was neighbor Peggy Morris. I called once with no answer but finally spoke to her last night. What a delightful thing to receive this lovely Christmas letter in my EMAIL box. Too fun!

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Peggy denied being the mystery Santa of the second letter. Hmm!  I’m narrowing down the suspects.







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Vote “No” to save the Moke!

Prop 1 is a bad deal for California’s Rivers

Next Tuesday you will be deciding the fate not only of the Mokelumne River, but of numerous California rivers.

Why you should vote ‘No” on Prop 1?

*Prop. 1 does nothing to address drought relief in the near future.

*Prop. 1 adds $7.12 billion to California’s debt, debt that will cost taxpayers $14.4 billion when the principal and interest is paid.

*Prop. 1 dedicates only 13% of its funding for conservation, stormwater capture and treatment, and recycling.

*Prop. 1 allocates $2.7 billion for three dams that would increase the state’s water supply by only 1%. The money would flow under the provision that allows “continuous funding,” meaning there would be no legislative oversight and more future money down the drain.

*Taxpayers would pay the lion’s share of new projects. Taxpayers, for example, would pay 73% of the cost of the proposed Temperance Flat Dam on the San Joaquin River while the beneficiaries — agribusiness and the City of Fresno — would pay most of the balance.  A big benefit to big ag, while shipping our crops overseas.

*Prop. 1 requires taxpayers to buy back water the public already owns to protect fish. And it will have the additional impact of making more water available to export from the Delta.

*Prop. 1 does nothing to address factors that have worsened the water crisis in California during the current drought: the overdrafting of major reservoirs in Northern California, inequitable distribution of limited water supplies and the failure to balance the Public Trust.


Prop 1 is a bad deal for the Mokelumne, a river you have been helping us save by working hard for its designation as a California state Wild and Scenic River. If passed, Prop 1 means funding will flow for building unnecessary, environmentally destructive dams, not only on the Moke, but on other rivers that may close to your own back yard.

Foothill Conservancy has joined a coalition opposed to Proposition 1. We urge you to vote NO on this ballot measure in favor of working for a better bond in the future.

In my own personal experience, I remember when we were dealing with drought issues and visiting Southern California and watching while streams of water from sprinklers and homeowners washing cars left hoses running fresh water down the gutters. In our own nearby community of Stockton, half the houses are unmetered. They take as much water as they want for a set fee. In those neighborhoods, again, water is wasted and running freely down the gutters.  Where else is that happening and I don’t know about it?  Lets fix it and work for a better water bond, not this expensive measure that won’t get the job done that is needed.



“California has outpaced the rest of the country in growth for the past three years.”
“California surpassed Russia and Italy to become the world’s eighth largest economy in 2013.”
“California is poised to overtake the fifth and sixth largest economies this year.”
“China is the world’s second largest economy, according to the World Bank. Its economic output is half
that of the United States. Japan has the world’s third largest economy followed by Germany and France.”

We can all pat ourselves on the back for a state that is progressive, often leads the nation in innovative ideas and give the current leadership an atta boy!

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My long time friend, Paul Moeller, and I had lunch yesterday at a place we like in Murphys. He is soon headed for Thousand Oaks to be with his girl friend for twelve days,  and I’m just arriving home after two months. So, we seized the day and put aside my mail and his project of carpeting his deck and zapped to town.

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Certainly, it is about sharing food, but more about sharing time. Being on the road has changed my lifestyle, so I always try to get together with old friends as much as I can when I’m home, even if it means dropping everything and obeying the rule, “people first”…

The world is a mess globally, but in your own small community you can find peace and sanity through family and friends.

My friend Jan came by and offered to teach me a rain dance, but I declined. Been there done that. I am thankful for the rain but I don’t like dancing in the mud.

Traveling can make you dizzy in a way. We drove from Hoh rain forest where the average rainfall is over 200 inches per year to California where we are in a deep drought. Earth, if we treat it right, is a grand place to live but carries death and destruction without intent, and surprises.  In Calama, a town in the Atacama Desert of Chile, records show, that it has never rained. Can you believe it?

Today, I will drive Jim to Palo Alto to have his pre-op exam on his eye, and a yearly check-up. Then back to Murphys. Much to do in the first week home.


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Thousand Trails Soledad Canyon RV Resort – Acton, California

Yesterday I drove the motorhome 75 miles from Fontana to Acton, California. In Fontana I was at 1,295 feet of elevation, crossed the Cajon Pass area at Mountain Top at 4,808 feet and arrived at Acton at 2,558 feet. The motorhome is parked at Thousand Trails Soledad Canyon RV Resort.

I will be here one week. California has been in an extended drought, but this week back to back winter storms starting Wednesday and ending Sunday will bring lots of much-needed rain to the area. I’m in a comfortable place to ride out the storms. I’m scheduled to arrive Mary’s home on March 5th.

Approaching the resort ranger check-in station…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…


My parking spot…


And the usual dinette window photo…


Yesterday was a sunny day at 72 degrees. Forecast for today is sunny and 72 degrees.

Enjoying nice weather is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows our approximate location in the State of California. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…


Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures with low humidity most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein


On October 27, 2012, I created a two-minute video titled America The Beautiful. The music America The Beautiful is by Christopher W. French. The photos, which I randomly selected, are from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia (not shown in that order)…are mine. Yup, That’s me standing in front of the Post Office in Luckenbach, Texas…Y’all!

Click this link to start the video. Make sure you have your speakers turned on and go to full screen asap.

If you would like to see my YouTube videos, click this link…

There are more than 500 photo albums in my Picasa Web Albums File. To gain access, you simply have to click this link…

If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…

For more information about my books, click this link:

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2014

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